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liament * expressly declared that all his majesty's colonies in America have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate to and dependent on the imperial crown of Great Britain; which has full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain in all cases whatso
This authority was very forcibly exemplified and enforced by the statutet for suspending the legislature of New York, and by several subsequent statutes. By another act | George III. was empowered to conclude a truce or treaty with the American colonies, and by his letters patent to suspend or repeal any acts of parliament which related to those colonies.
And by the first act of the definitive treaty of peace and friendship between · his Britannic majesty and the United States of America, signed at Paris,
September 3, 1783, his Britannic majesty acknowledges the United States of America to be free, sovereign, and independent states.
The kingdom of Hanover and his majesty's other property in Germany, being entirely unconnected with the laws of England, do not communicate with this nation in any respect whatever. The English legislature had wisely remarked the inconveniences which had formerly resulted from the continental territories which the princes of the Norman line brought with them, and from Anjou and its appendages which fell to Henry II. by hereditary descent, and engaged England in foreign wars for nearly four hundred years, till, happily for the peace and prosperity of the nation, they were lost in the reign of Henry VI. From that time, they observed that our maritime interests were better understood, and more closely pursued; and, in consequence of resting from civil wars and being removed from continental politics, the nation began to flourish and become more considerable in Europe, than when her princes possessed continental territories, and her councils were distracted by foreign interests. In consequence of this experience and these considerations, a clause was wisely inserted in the act of settlement, which provided, “ that in case the crown and imperial dignity of this realm, shall hereafter come to any person not being a native of this kingdom of England, this nation shall not be obliged to engage in any war for the defence of any dominions or territories which do not belong to the crown of England, without consent of parliament."
The main or high seas are part of the realm of England, and on which the courts of admiralty have jurisdiction, but they are not subject to the common law. The main sea begins at low water mark; but, between the high water and the low water mark, where the sea ebbs and flows, the common law and the admiralty have an alternate jurisdiction; one upon the water when it is full sea; and the other upon land when it is ebb.
The territory of England is liable to two divisions, the one ECCLESIASTICAL, the other civil. * 6 Geo. III., c. 12.-17 Geo. III., c. 59.-122 Geo. III., c. 46.-$ 12 & 13 Wil. III., c. 3.
1. The ECCLESIASTICAL is primarily divided into two provinces, Canterbury and York. A province is the circuit of an archbishop's jurisdiction. Each province contains several dioceses or sees of suffragan bishops : Canterbury containing twenty-one, and York three, besides the bishopric of Man, which was annexed to the province of York by Henry VIII. Again, every diocese is divided into archdeaconries, whereof in all there are sixty; each archdeaconry into rural deaneries, which are the circuit of the arch-deacons and rural deans' jurisdictions; and every deanery is divided into parishes.
II. The civil division of the territory of England is into counties, hundreds, tithings, or towns, which division, as it now stands, seems to owe its original to Alfred : who, to prevent the rapines and disorders which formerly prevailed in the realm, instituted tithings ; so called from the Saxon, because ten freeholders with their families composed one. These all dwelt together, and were sureties or free pledges to the king for the good behaviour of each other. One of the principal inhabitants of the tithing is annually appointed to preside over the rest, and is called the tithing man, the headborough, and in some countries the borsholder, or boroughs-elder.
Tithings, towns, or vills, are of the same signification in law. A city is a town incorporated, which is or has been the see of a bishop. A borough is a town, either corporate or not, that sends burgesses to parliament. As ten families of freemen composed a town or tithing, so ten tithings or ten times ten families composed a superior division, called a hundred. The hundred is governed by a high constable or bailiff. In some of the more northern counties these hundreds are called wapentakes, because the people at a public meeting confirmed their union with the governor by taking or touching his weapon or lance.
A county or shire is composed of an indefinite number of these hundreds. Shire is a Saxon word signifying a division : but a county, comitatus, is evidently derived from comes, the count of the Franks; that is, the earl or alderman of the shire, to whose government it was intrusted. This he usually exercised by his deputy, still called in Latin vice-comes, and in English, the sheriff, shrieve, or shire-reeve, signifying the officer of the shire, upon whom its civil administration is now entirely devolved. In some counties there are intermediate divisions between the shire and the hundreds, as lathes in Kent, and rapes in Sussex, each of them containing about three or four hundreds. These had formerly lathe-reeves and rape-reeves, acting in subordination to the shire-reeve. Where a county is divided into three of these intermediate jurisdictions, they are called trithings; and which were anciently governed by a trithing-reeve. These still subsist in the extensive county of York, where by an easy corruption they are called ridings.
There are forty counties in England, and twelve in Wales. Three of these, Chester, Durham, and Lancaster, are called counties palatine, so
called a palatio, because their owners, the earl of Chester, the bishop of Durham, and the duke of Lancaster, had in those counties jura regalia, as fully as the king has in his palaces. They might pardon treasons, murders, and felonies; they appoint all judges and justices of the peace, all writs and indictments run in their names, as they do in the king's in other counties; and all offences are said to be done against their peace. These palatine privileges were in all probability originally granted to the counties of Chester and Durham, because they bordered upon enemies' countries, in order that the inhabitants might have justice administered at home, and not be obliged to go out of the county and leave it open to the enemies' incursions. Lancaster was created such by Edward III., in favour of Henry Plantagenet, first earl, and afterwards duke, of Lancaster. Of these, the county of Durham is the only one now remaining in the hands of a subject; for the earldom of Chester was united to the crown by Henry III., and has ever since given a title to the king's eldest son. The county palatine of Lancaster was the property of Henry Bolingbroke, the son of John of Gaunt, at the time when he usurped the crown of Richard II. and assumed the title of Henry IV. But he was too prudent to suffer this to be united to the crown, knowing the insufficiency of his title, lest if he lost the one he might lose the other also : for he knew that he possessed the duchy of Lancaster by sure and indefeasible title, but that his title to the crown was entirely usurped : for, after the decease of Richard II. the right of the crown was in the heir of Lionel, duke of Clarence, second son of Edward III., whereas John of Gaunt, father to this Henry IV., was but the fourth son. And, therefore, in the first year of his usurpation he procured an act of parliament, ordering that the duchy of Lancaster and all other his hereditary estates, with all their royalties and franchises, should remain to him and his heirs for ever; and should remain, descend, be administered, and governed, in like manner, as if he never had attained the regal dignity. Consequently they descended to his son and grandson, Henry V. and Henry VI., and the former added many new privileges and territories to the duchy. When the house of York asserted their just rights and recovered the throne, this duchy was declared by parliament to be forfeited to the crown, and at the same time it was incorporated, and ordained to continue as a county palatine, and also to make it parcel of the duchy: and farther, Edward IV. vested the whole in himself and his heirs, kings of England for ever, but under a separate guiding and government from the other inheritances of the crown.
The isle of Ely is not a county palatine, though sometimes erroneously called so, but is only a royal franchise : the bishop of Ely having, by a grant of king Henry I., jura regalia within the isle of Ely, whereby be exercises a jurisdiction over all causes, both criminal and civil.
There are also counties corporale; which are certain cities, some with more, some with less territory annexed to them : there are twelve cities, Lon
don, Chester, Bristol, Coventry, Canterbury, Exeter, Gloucester, Litchfield, Lincoln, Norwich, Worcester, and York; and five towns, Kingston-uponHull, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Pool, and Southainpton. Out of special grace and favour, the kings of England have at different times granted the privilege to these cities and towns to be counties of themselves, and not to be comprised in the counties by which they are surrounded, but to be governed by their own sheriffs and other magistrates, so that no officers of the county at large have any power to intermeddle therein. *
COURTS OF LAW IN SCOTLAND. COLLEGE OF JUSTICE.—Though the first institution of the College of Justice is generally attributed to king James V., yet, in all probability, his grand-uncle John, duke of Albany, who was regent of the kingdom during that monarch's minority, was its original projector and founder. Sir George Mackenzie informs us, that the duke of Albany formed the intended court on the model of the parliament of Paris; and accordingly applied to his kinsinan, Pope Clement VII., for a bull, empowering him to tax the Scottish bishoprics for the support of bis intended institution. This was warmly opposed by the clergy, which occasioned considerable delay; but in the end, the wishes of Albany and the young king, who had assumed the reins of administration, prevailed at Rome, and the Pope issued a bull on the 15th September, 1531, authorizing a contribution to be raised from the Scottish bishoprics and monastic institutions, of ten thousand golden ducats of the chamber ( ducatorum auri de camera), for the maintenance of the senators. The bull also provided that one half of the senators should be ecclesiastical dignitaries, and the other laymen.
After providing for the maintenance of the ecclesiastical and lay dignitaries of this court, an act of parliament was passed on the 17th May, 1532, in the following terms: “ Item, anent the second article concerning the ordour of justice, because our soverane is maist desyrous to have ane permanent ordour of justice, for the universale wele of all his lieges, and therefoir tends to institute ane college of cunning and wise men, baith of spiritual and temporal estate, for the doing and administracioun of justice in all civil actions, and therfoir thinks to be chosin certane persones maist convenient and qualifiet therfor, to the nowner of thirteen persones, half spiritual, half temporal, with ane president: The whilk persones sall be auctorizat in this present parliament to sytt and decyde upon all ac
* Blackstone's Commentaries on the laws of England, Professor Christian's edition, with his Notes, 1830—Statutes at large-Law Magazine, Tomlin's and Jacob's Law Dictionaries --Jeremy Bentham's Rationale of Judicial Evidence Cabinet Lawyer-Dalton's Office of Sheriils—Dawson on the Origin of Laws,Burns' Ecclesiastical Law.
tiouns civile, and nane uthers to have voit with thaim, on to the tyme that the said college may be institute at mare laisare : and thir persouns to be sworn to minister justice equally to all persouns in sic causis as sall happen to com befor them, with sic uthir rewlis and statuts as sall pleise the king's grace to mak and geif to them for ordouring of the samin. The three estatis of this present parliament thinks this artikle well consavit. And therfor the king's grace, with avise and consent of the said three estatis, ordainis the samin to have effect in all points, and now ratifyes and confirmis the samin; and has chosen thir persouns underwritten to the effect forsaid, quhais processes, sentences, and decretis sall have the samin strength, force, and effect as the decretis of the lordis of sessioun had in all tyme bygane : Providing alwayis that my lord chancellor being present in this town or uthir place, he sall have voit and be principale of the said counsell, and sic uthir lordis as sall pleise the king's grace to enjoin to thaim of his gret counsell, to have voit siclik to the nomer of three or four.”
Agreeably to this act, the court commenced its sittings on the 27th day of May, 1532, in presence of the king, and all the nobility and great officers of his court. Except in cases of war and pestilence, the court has regularly continued to sit ever since. During the usurpation of Cromwell, the functions of the judges were entirely superseded, and in place of this court, a set of commissioners for the administration of justice to the people of Scotland, was appointed by that military chieftain, and which interruption lasted from the year 1650, to the year 1661, when the restoration of the legitimate sovereign authority was naturally followed by the restitution of ancient laws and salutary usages. The judges of the College of Justice consisted of the lord chancellor, the lord president, fourteen ordinary lords or senators, and an indefinite number of supernumerary judges, called extraordinary lords. We shall now make some general observations regarding some of the more important of these offices, the qualifications necessary for filling them, and the honours, distinctions, and remuneration with which their services have been rewarded.
TAE LORD CHANCELLOR.—This great officer of state is supposed to have derived his appropriate title from the Latin verb cancellare, it being his supereminent prerogative to alter or cancel any writ presented to the great seal, containing clauses, objectionable or prejudicial to the commonwealth. In Scotland, this office is of very high antiquity, and so early as the reign of Malcolm II., the chancellor had obtained precedency of all other officers of state. The mere delivery of the great seal constitutes the chancellor in England ; but in Scotland, the office was usually conferred by a commission under the great seal, containing a warrant also for appending the privy seal to the gift, the great seal being in the custody of the chancellor himself. Latterly, the office was conferred for life. The absolute rank of the lord chancellor does not appear to have been